Gas-Discharge Plasma: Biofilm Inactivation
ByGraciela Brelles-Mariño
Pages 4

Most microbes live as biofilms, microbial communities attached to surfaces and embedded in a polysaccharidic matrix. Biofilms impact all aspects of our lives since they can cause disease, prosthetic device colonization, biofouling, pipe plugging, and product contamination in industries, among others. Due to cooperative effects among its members, biofilms are unusually resistant to nearly all forms of decontamination or sterilization. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of nonthermal atmospheric pressure gas discharge plasmas for killing free-living, planktonic microorganisms. Although there are fewer reports about the use of plasma to inactivate bacterial and fungal biofilms, a variety of plasma devices/geometries/compositions have been used since 2005 to inactivate biofilms in different environments and surfaces, showing the potential of this technology to address the problem. This entry briefly reviews some of the early contributions on the topic of plasma-assisted biofilm inactivation and some latest results.